diary / by Edward Mullany


I once undertook to illustrate Dante’s Inferno, but I got no further than the opening canto, which ends while the poet is still above ground, at night, in the woods, before the shade of Virgil has led him through those gates that open onto the plain through which runs the river Acheron, whose boatman has the duty of ferrying souls to the opposite shore, where can be found the path that descends, among rocks, into the first few circles of the underworld, and that eventually leads to the City of Dis, where, within walls made of iron, demons run amok, and one can hear the cries of the unrepentant, though when I asked myself why I quit where I did, and put my pens and paper away, instead of continuing, I could not find an answer, so that I began to realize, as the days went by, and my mind became occupied with other things, that I wasn’t ready to illustrate the book, even if I wanted to, and that a time might never arrive when I would be.